Giannis: I won’t sign Bucks extension unless ‘everybody’s on the same page’

Giannis: I won't sign Bucks extension unless 'everybody's on the same page'

Giannis Antetokounmpo will not commit long term to the Milwaukee Bucks next summer if he believes the franchise isn’t aligned with his goal of another NBA title.

“The real question’s not going to be this year – numbers-wise it doesn’t make sense,” Antetokounmpo told The New York Times’ Tania Ganguli about penning an extension. “But next year, next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know.”

Antetokounmpo continued: “I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing.”

This year, the 28-year-old star will be eligible for a three-year, approximately $173-million extension, which would only elongate the initial five-year, $228-million super-max deal he signed with Milwaukee in December 2020. However, by waiting until the summer of 2024, he could secure a bigger windfall by adding on another year at max value.

He can also wait until 2025 and become a free agent by declining to exercise a $51.9-million option for 2025-26. Doing so opens up the possibility of signing an entirely new maximum contract. While that could land him the largest deal among all his options, it also presents the most risk due to the wait.

The seven-time All-Star also admitted that changes behind Milwaukee’s bench could influence the decision about his future. The Bucks fired Mike Budenholzer this summer after he spent five seasons in charge of the team and won the organization’s first championship in a half-century in 2021. After crashing out in five games to the Miami Heat in the first round this year, the Bucks replaced Budenholzer with Adrian Griffin, who has never been a full-time head coach in the NBA.

“You’ve got to see the dynamics,” Antetokounmpo told Ganguli. “How the coach is going to be, how we’re going to be together. At the end of the day, I feel like all my teammates know and the organization knows that I want to win a championship. As long as we’re on the same page with that and you show me and we go together to win a championship, I’m all for it. The moment I feel like, oh, yeah, we’re trying to rebuild – “

He continued: “There will never be hard feelings with the Milwaukee Bucks. I believe that we’ve had 10 unbelievable years, and there’s no doubt I gave everything for the city of Milwaukee. Everything. Every single night, even when I’m hurt. I am a Milwaukee Buck. I bleed green. I know this. This is my team, and it’s going to forever be my team. I don’t forget people that were there for me and allowed me to be great and to showcase who I am to the world and gave me the platform. But we have to win another one.”

Antetokounmpo has spent all 10 years of his career in Milwaukee, where, along with winning a title and being named Finals MVP, he has twice been named MVP of the regular season. He’s also a seven-time All-NBA selection and was awarded the NBA’s 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year honor.

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